Wednesday Write-Up: Can Travel Help End Hatred?

There are many awful things going on in the world right now. Actually let me rephrase that, there are always vile and foul and hateful things happening in our world.  There have been short times of world peace in human history, but certainly not during my lifetime, and I am pretty sure that there won’t be either. No, I am not being a negative Nancy, I am just being real. What’s going on in Ferguson,  Iraq, Israel, and in the Ukraine makes my stomach turn. I do not usually write about such charged topics, but this has been weighing on my mind and I had a thought that I wanted to share.

"2007 report child plane" by Image from the US State Department's Compliance Report on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child AbductionTransferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by User:Liftarn using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2007_report_child_plane.jpg#mediaviewer/File:2007_report_child_plane.jpg
“2007 report child plane” by Image from the US State Department’s Compliance Report on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child AbductionTransferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by User:Liftarn using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2007_report_child_plane.jpg#mediaviewer/File:2007_report_child_plane.jpg

We humans love to hate other humans. We cannot seem to stop ourselves. We judge people, we try to control others,  all the while we tell ourselves that we are “good people.” It’s a real conundrum to me, because I am pretty sure if we are all “good people” then kindness and love would be shown a whole lot more in this world.  But I digress…

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”― Mark Twain

This quote by Mark Twain is what made me want to write this post. It brought to print what I had been thinking since we began traveling a year and a half ago.  I think that traveling can help to end much of the hatred that we humans show to each other. That along with having true faith in Jesus Christ, but that is another post for another day.

When we left our hometown of Santa Rosa, California and started to experience new cultures along the way, my eyes were opened. I began to realize  how staying in one place or community your whole life can cause fear and hatred for those that are different.  Visiting other cultures made me realize that we humans are all just humans. We all deserve to live, we all deserve to be treated with love and respect, we all deserve to live without fear. I strive to not see a persons color, religion, or financial status anymore… I choose to see a person that should be loved. My faith taught me that’s how I should be to others, but traveling is what made me believe it.

Travel does not have to be to international destinations for this to work. It can be as close as exploring a neighboring town or county, heck it could be a street away from you. Get outside your comfort zone and meet others that live differently from you. It could be that they are a different race, or a different religion, or are wealthy or poor. Once you get to know others that are different from yourself, you will start to see that we are all people just trying to make it through this life in our own way.  Seeing first hand how others live is much more real than the garbage that the media feeds us about “those people” and I am hoping that it will open your eyes like it did mine.

It is difficult to fear something that we understand. So, it makes sense to me that the more that we all delve into other cultures, the more we will understand where they are coming from.  Can travel cure our hate filled hearts? No, only God can do that. But I do think travel is a way to spread understanding and love.

What do you think about this? What other ways do you think we can stop being so hateful and start loving others? I know that some will disagree with me about my opinions in this post.  Disagree away, but please keep your comments nice and constructive.

  43 comments for “Wednesday Write-Up: Can Travel Help End Hatred?

  1. Christy @ kidsrsimple.com
    September 3, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I do agree with you that travelling opens up one’s perception and even makes one magnanimous. When we see a country’s beauty and her people with their culture, we tend to understand them more and accept differences. Maybe people who hate one another across borders are less-traveled or just in their own holes.

    • andthreetogo
      September 3, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      I am sure that there are many reasons that people hate, but I think the strongest reason is fear of the unknown. The more we know about others the better.

  2. Sha
    September 3, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Coming from a multicultural country, I would say that travel has taught me to be more open and tolerant of differences. We have always been taught to be tolerant of other races since we have different racial groups in Singapore but being taught and putting it into practice is always different. So while I don’t think that there can ever be any end to hatred, I think that travel can help in opening people’s mind to diversity and perhaps even understanding that these differences will always exist. Just my two cents worth. 🙂

    • andthreetogo
      September 4, 2014 at 8:38 am

      I agree. 🙂

  3. Kimberly
    September 3, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Love this post!! As someone who hasn’t traveled much, I don’t really have any personal input on that side of things. But, from what I learned as a Sociology major in school (did a lot of studies on genocide), fearing what we don’t understand and viewing other people as “lesser” is how people are able to commit such horrible crimes. It stands to reason that experiencing other cultures first hand, meeting people and seeing that they are PEOPLE too is how we can lessen hate.

    • andthreetogo
      September 4, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Exactly! And thank you! 🙂

  4. mamabyfire
    September 4, 2014 at 12:49 am

    I absolutely agree with this post. It’s often fear of the unknown that creates hatred. If we all can be a little more open and a little more loving, we can accept everyone. We could make great friends and learn new things along the way. Great post!

    • andthreetogo
      September 4, 2014 at 8:40 am

      Yes! Thank you so much for the kind words, too. 🙂

  5. melissajane01
    September 4, 2014 at 2:51 am

    When I was in Italy, I remember appreciating how families gathered in the park on Sunday and just spent time together….for hours. It was a different scene than anything I had seen in the U.S. I agree that travel can help us be more aware of cultural differences, and hopefully appreciate them.

    • andthreetogo
      September 4, 2014 at 8:42 am

      I love the family atmosphere of many of the countries we have visited in our travels. There is a happy and warm feeling when you are able to bring your families with you everywhere and spend time together. Thanks for commenting!

  6. expatlingo
    September 4, 2014 at 2:58 am

    It can open one’s eyes, if one is interested. Seems there is a healthy handful of people who remain just as bigoted traveling/living abroad as they were back home. But a small percentage!

    If one is interested and open, then it’s a different story!

    • andthreetogo
      September 4, 2014 at 9:07 am

      You are right, there are always exceptions to the rule. I have met some people that have been expats who are hateful of the culture they are living in, but often those people had many other issues that actually caused it. Overall though I think people would become more accepting of others through travel.
      Thanks for commenting!

  7. Friend
    September 4, 2014 at 4:20 am

    A phrase we use around here sometimes is “People are down on what they’re not up on.” It can be easy to quickly criticize someone or something we have very little knowledge about or experience of. I agree it’s important to keep learning about others as our views can change when we have more information or experience. Our book club just finished a book on the Depression that helped me to realize why many folks from that generation did not want to accept charity and why some did not openly talk about their hard times. May we all keep learning and develop hearts of understanding. Thanks for your thoughts Jen. I always appreciate the clear and engaging way you write.

    • andthreetogo
      September 4, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Thanks friend! Well said! I sure miss book club. 🙂

  8. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    September 4, 2014 at 10:22 am

    I definitely agree. Travel and living in different places has helped me understand what I did not before. But perhaps we are able to live and travel to different places because we are more prone to openness? Or were we nipped and tucked into openness because of/by our travels? A quality person is a quality person and known by their actions in all cultures, I assume. These world events make me sad too. Ferguson is especially close to my heart because I went to pharmacy school in St. Louis and have friends there, including a cop.

    • andthreetogo
      September 4, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      That is a question that I am unable to answer. That is way too meta for me. 🙂 I do know that I have seen peoples attitudes, compassion, and caring change after they had traveled outside of their comfort zone. That includes me as well.
      Yikes! I hope your friends were okay!

      • thehomeschoolingdoctor
        September 9, 2014 at 10:19 am

        Ha! Ha! “Meta.” Did not mean to be that!

  9. Sue Slaght
    September 4, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I do believe that travel opens our eyes to other worlds and other ways. A thought provoking post.

    • andthreetogo
      September 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks, Sue! I think the way that you bicycle through other countries has to make that happen even more! 🙂

  10. joylovestravel
    September 4, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Travel definitely opens your eyes and your mind and breeds tolerance, also agree though that sometimes you don’t have to travel too far, just somewhere out of your comfort zone close to home can have the same effect.

    • andthreetogo
      September 4, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you! It’s all about delving into something unknown or foreign regardless of how far you are traveling. 🙂

  11. Leslie from Harris Hippies
    September 4, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Amen.

    • andthreetogo
      September 4, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      🙂

  12. Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
    September 4, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    I loved the comments on this one.

    A lot of people agree, but then there’s the thought that there are exceptions, and the idea that maybe the people who travel are already the more open-minded.

    I’m going to throw one more in. I think it’s not just (so much?) what you learn about others as what you learn about yourself. You learn that, outside your narrowly-defined comfort zone, you really can become somebody else, even if just for the duration of certain experiences. Or let’s say, you express a different side of yourself.

    And that lets us sympathise with people who may be expressing a side of themselves that we don’t understand and perhaps don’t really like. We begin to think that maybe they’re more like us than we’d realised, only under different circumstances.

    • andthreetogo
      September 4, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      I love this and so agree with you. Thank you for making me understand my feelings all the more. I am pretty sure that is one of the reasons why I love travel so much, I can be myself because I can be anyone.

      • Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
        September 4, 2014 at 9:41 pm

        Or can you be not so much yourself as a reflection of your circumstances? 😉

      • Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
        September 4, 2014 at 9:42 pm

        (I have taken a lot of very, very long train trips.)

        • andthreetogo
          September 4, 2014 at 9:44 pm

          That may be the case as well. 🙂

          • Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
            September 4, 2014 at 9:45 pm

            The train tips or the reflection of circumstances or both? 🙂

          • andthreetogo
            September 4, 2014 at 9:50 pm

            The reflection part. haha

          • Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
            September 4, 2014 at 9:53 pm

            🙂

  13. Yvette @ BigTrouble
    September 5, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Fantastic post, you raise some very interesting points and I love the Mark Twain quote too.

    Also agree with the comments about seeing different parts of ourselves when we are in different places (not necessarily literally) in our lives, and how that can both humble us and connect us to those we might previously have felt alienated from.

    Ooh you’ve made me all reflective!

    • andthreetogo
      September 5, 2014 at 6:25 am

      It’s one of my favorite quotes of Mark Twain, he has so many good ones.
      I am glad that it made you reflective! That’s what I was striving for. 🙂 thanks for reading and commenting.

  14. Less to More
    September 5, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Well said! I’ve done traveling to different parts of the world for missions trips. To travel and do the tourist activities is one thing, but visiting another place and be among the people and interact with them, is quite another thing. When you get to talking to people, you realize you’re not so different after all. What’s amazing is that it is in God’s plan to save people from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation. It will be the most diverse choir we will ever see when God’s people are going to sing together in heaven!

    • andthreetogo
      September 5, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Exactly! Well said! 🙂

  15. threeboysandamom
    September 5, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Very well said and I completely agree. We have to open our eyes to the people around us and stop judging each other for our humanness. Great post to raise awareness on important issues!

    • andthreetogo
      September 6, 2014 at 9:59 am

      Thanks Rachel! 🙂

  16. WorkingMomMagic
    September 5, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Wonderful post!

    • andthreetogo
      September 8, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Thank you!

  17. freebutfun
    September 6, 2014 at 1:46 am

    I think it has all been said: a good theme, well written, and I do agree with Bronwyn’s addition too. So can’t really add to the conversation but wanted to give you a thumbs up for raising the theme! 🙂

    • andthreetogo
      September 6, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  18. Much to be thankful for!
    September 6, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Don’t you love it when your post is thought provoking enough to prompt an exchange of ideas and different or similar thoughts! I have found personally, even more than traveling, that my love for, or disdain for people or cultures has much more to do with my attitude. My goal is to see everyone through Gods eyes. Not always successful, but that is my goal. I think there are pleasant people of all origins and yes, sometimes the cultural differences can be taken as rudeness or kindness but to me, the likability of someone has more to do with (as I said) my attitude and theirs as well. Sadly I think the old adage “the few ruin it for the many” is very true. I think we also tend to remember more vividly the “ugly characteristics” of people far more readily then we do the “Christ like” or “delightful” personalities. That too has helped me both at home and abroad; to look at each one I meet as an individual and to treat them with respect and hopefully interject a bit of joy and caring into their life. I am impressed that you tackled a subject that could be a “battlefield”. I look forward to reading all the input you receive!

    • andthreetogo
      September 6, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks mom! Well said!

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